‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 9: JOJOLands’ lives up to expectations


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Cover art of part nine’s first chapter.

Thomas Jackson, Editor

Note this article contains spoilers up to the end of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 8: JOJOLands.” 

The first chapter of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 9: JOJOLands” released Feb. 17, 2023 after a year and a half wait since the last part. 

“Jojo’s” first came out Jan. 1, 1987 and has been released in parts ever since. After the end of part six, Stone Ocean, the universe was reset and an entire new world has since been built. ”JOJOLands” follows the new protagonist 15 year old Jodio Joestar in the islands of Hawaii. 

Following the theme of reincarnation, Jodio seems to be a reincarnation of part five, “Golden Wind” protagonist, Giorno Giovanna. 

The only clues readers have are they both work in a Mafia setting with Giorno becoming the boss of his group at the end of “Golden Wind” and Jodio being a distributor in a multi-level group of drug dealers. The biggest connector they both have is using Dio’s iconic line to introduce themselves, with Giorno being a son of Dio.

Introducing himself the way Dio does is not just a funny coincidence or a reference, although it is almost impossible for Jodio to be a descendant of this universe’s Dio. Since Diego Brando, the “part seven Steel Ball Run” version of Dio, actually died twice, the chance of either of them having time to have offspring is pretty rare.

For the actual chapter, author Hirohiko Araki started this part with a few distinct changes from his earlier parts. To start, Jodio starts out with knowing about his stand and actually seems to have a pretty good grasp of how to use it. Part three, four, five, six, seven and somewhat eight all have their Jojo’s finding out how to use, or acquire, their stand at the beginning of the part. Furthermore, his stand, November Rain, is not the “normal” Jojo stand, because it is not a big buff person who punches faster than humans can see and can take hits like it is nothing. The only other stand with this level of difference was Tusk from “Steel Ball Run,” but that stand evolved and brought its own different spin to fights. November Rain does not seem to be something that can evolve and even if it can it is hard to see it become a stand becoming of a Jojo. This leads to the idea that there will be more strategic fights, or Jodio will use his own brute strength to take down foes. 

The first chapter has its own major points with a Dua Lipa reference, a COVID-19 reference, police brutality and its first openly transgender character. To finish off the chapter, there is a clear plot point being built with a group of stand users being put together and going to face what is most likely a strong stand user. A major point of this chapter was “mechanisms” and what they are in this world. The idea of mechanisms follows the recent trend of having a deeper philosophical meaning. Earlier parts follow the idea of “punch bad guy, end story” like most shonen, but starting in part seven the protagonists have started working on their lives before saving the world. Johnny Joestar works on his belongings and Gappy Higashikata discovers his identity. Readers hope Jodio will show and conquer a deeper psychological issue that fans have grown to love and appreciate.   

Of starting chapters, this is a strong one in comparison to other parts. It leaves a lot up to the reader and follows the way new superhero movies start. Instead of drilling the same story, the reader has heard for the past eight parts, “JOJOLands” hits the ground running by having no backstory, no scene of getting his stand and most importantly, no heritage panel. Readers believe these issues will clear up later, but by omitting these, the first chapter flowed a lot better and left more room for information. 

Lastly, showcasing new music, mentioning COVID-19 and showing police misconduct, this part has a different feeling. If this is the final part, like most fans believe, it is a breath of fresh air to see new representation, and most importantly, transgender representation in a field that is historically transphobic. Araki continues to push boundaries and set new standards for fellow mangakas. 

In conclusion, after a year and a half wait for part 9, the first chapter lives up to expectations with new faces and themes, while keeping the classic Jojo ingredients. ★★★★☆